While a monthly pass can be expensive, it may be the cheapest way to pay for frequent trips.
- Living in a city with good public transport can be comfortable.
- Using public transport can provide significant cost savings for residents who do not need to own a car.
- Find out how much a monthly public transit pass will cost you in cities like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Living in a city with excellent public transport can be a win for your wallet. You may be able to lower your monthly living expenses by not needing a car. If you can avoid making a car payment and paying auto insurance and maintenance costs, you could keep more money in your bank account.
It’s important to factor the cost of public transportation into your monthly budget—just like other living expenses. Are you wondering how expensive a monthly pass is? It varies depending on where you live. Find out how much a monthly pass costs in six major US cities.
1. New York City
New York City, perhaps one of the most public-friendly cities in the United States, offers a 30-day unlimited transit pass for $127. This pass gives you unlimited travel on local buses and the subway. The cost per ride is $2.75. So if you use local buses or the metro several times a day, it’s worth investing in an unlimited pass.
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Next on our list is Chicago. You can purchase a 30-day Chicago Transit Authority pass for $75. This pass entitles you to unlimited travel on CTA buses and trains. Without a pass, you’ll pay $2.25 per trip to take a bus or $2.50 per trip to take the train — which can add up quickly.
Philadelphia is another city with a good public transportation system. If you use public transport frequently in the City of Brotherly Love, a monthly public transport trip is a great way to make money.
A monthly SEPTA TransPass is available for $96. You can use this pass to travel on the bus, tram, subway or the Norristown High-Speed Line. While it’s not an unlimited swipe pass, it’s valid for up to 240 rides per month.
4. San Francisco
San Francisco is another US city with plenty of public transportation. San Francisco’s Muni system has buses, light rail, subway, streetcar, and cable cars. You pay either $81 or $98 for an adult unlimited monthly pass. This is how the prices are made up:
- The Clipper M Pass offers unlimited rides in the Muni system for $81.
- The Clipper A Pass offers unlimited rides on the Muni system and the BART system (within San Francisco) for $98.
Minneapolis also has a convenient public transportation system. The city’s public transit company, Metro Transit, offers several unlimited 31-day passes depending on your needs and travel habits.
Here is a breakdown of the available passes and prices:
- $65: This 31-day pass offers unlimited off-peak travel on local buses and subways.
- $90: This 31-day pass offers unlimited travel on local buses and subway lines during peak hours and express buses during off-peak hours.
- $120: This 31-day pass offers unlimited travel on buses and subways at any time, as well as unlimited travel on express buses during peak hours.
Living in Los Angeles comes with high costs. But the good news is that the city has reliable public transport. Currently, Los Angeles Metro Rail passes are discounted by 50% through 2022:
- You can buy a 30-day unlimited subway pass for $50. Normally this pass costs $100.
- You can purchase a 30-day pass for unlimited bus and train travel (including the J Line and Express Bus routes) for $61. Normally this pass costs $122.
Should you move to a city with better public transport?
Not all cities have good public transport systems, but some do. Moving to another city could be an option if you’re hoping to rely on your own car less often.
If you are moving to a new city and want to use the public transport system, you should first research your options. Take a look at bus, tram and train line availability and make sure you get to your destination via the system. It’s also a good idea to find out if it makes sense to invest in a monthly pass instead of paying the price per trip.
If you intend to use public transport most days, investing in a monthly pass is probably a good choice. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you need to throughout the month.
Are you looking for tips and tricks to save money in everyday life? Check out our personal finance resources for guidance.
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